Novosco reaches for the clouds as business enjoys period of stellar growth

Novosco, which operates from this state-or-the-art headquarters building at the Belfast science park, has reported a period of stellar growth
Gary McDonald Business Editor

FAST-growth managed cloud provider Novosco has revealed a 10 per cent jump in its turnover in the last year as it currently embarks on a significant fresh investment programme to propel its growth both in Northern Ireland and Britain.

According to accounts filed at Companies House the firm, which provides IT services to businesses and public sector bodies, had sales of £23.7 million in 2017 against £21.4 million the previous year in what its management described as "a very strong year".

And since the books were closed on that last trading year, Novosco has continued to expand, confirming in June that it is recruiting another 150 staff with an average salary of £42,000.

Some 120 of those new positions will be in Belfast at its state-of-the-art headquarters at Catalyst Inc, including IT infrastructure engineers, service delivery roles, project managers, cloud experts and cyber security specialists.

Recruitment will continue until 2020, and the additional jobs will equate to an extra £4.8m being pumped into the local economy. Another 32 positions will be based in England (it has an office in Manchester).

The company accounts show that last year average employee numbers at Novosco increased by nearly 20 per cent from 116 to 138 as it expanded its service delivery and technical teams to support growth in managed cloud services.

That bumped up its 2017 wages bill to £7.2 million, while the directors' salaries came in at £420,736.

In a strategic report accompanying the results the directors, led by Patrick McAliskey, said the managed service portfolio continued to expand in 2017, with multi-million pound contracts secured for future years.

However, while gross margins were maintained, the company made a significant investment in sales development resources which impacted on pre-tax profits (these fell back 30 per cent from £2,323,000 in 2016 to £1,611,000 last year.

But the strategy has paid off in spades, because since year-end Novosco has secured additional contracts of more than £100 million for 2018 and future years.

Its included the company's biggest-ever contract (worth £107m) to manage IT infrastructure and support services for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Novosco has been delivering enterprise-level hosting services to mid-market organisations in the UK and Ireland for the past 20 years, during which time it has scooped a clutch of top industry awards.

Notably it has featured in the Sunday Times' 100 Best Companies to Work For and it has been included in the Deloitte Fast 50 for 16 consecutive years.

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